Power rises to the top as speeds soar on Fast Friday

After a relatively quiet month of May to date, Will Power and Team Penske ascended to the top of the time sheets on Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the Australian reaching speeds in excess of 232mph.

With additional boost levels provided for all Chevrolet and Honda-powered drivers for the day’s running ahead of this weekend’s two days of qualifying, and for the first time this week, Chevrolet-power hit the top of the time sheets, although the feared ‘big gap’ between those with Chevrolet-power and those with Honda-power seems to have been unwarranted.

Power’s fastest lap of 38.6810s, at a speed 232.672s, was only 0.0546s and 0.328mph faster than Josef Newgarden, who took his Chevrolet-powered Ed Carpenter Racing entry into the second spot.

James Hinchcliffe was the leading Honda-powered entrant in third place, and was just beneath the 232mph barrier, with the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport setting a best time of 38.7978s around the legendary 2.5-mile oval.

Carlos Munoz finished the fastest of a quartet of Andretti Autosport drivers, all of who were above 231mph, with team-mates Marco Andretti, Townsend Bell and Ryan Hunter-Reay just behind the Colombian ace.  Bell had the distinction of setting the best lap of the day unaided by a tow at 231.342mph.

Gabby Chaves continued his strong month of May with the eighth fastest time for Dale Coyne Racing, with his performance this weekend made all the more impressive bearing in mind that ten days ago he was looking at sitting out of the race altogether, having been out of a ride since the season finale of the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015.

Mikhail Aleshin also broke through the 231mph barrier, with the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver running a quickest lap of 38.9502, which is a speed of 231.064mph, while Alexander Rossi just missed out on the 231mph, with the Andretti Herta Autosport driver’s best lap of 38.9867s seeing a speed of 230.848mph.

Eighteen drivers broke the 230mph barrier, while all thirty-three drivers got a good number of laps in ahead of the first of the two qualifying sessions on Saturday, with a total of 1346 laps being completed.

The only stoppages were for track inspections and debris, while running was also stopped for around thirty minutes due to light rain falling on the speedway.

Indianapolis 500 Fast Friday Practice Times

112Will PowerAUSTeam Penske38.6810s
221Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing38.7356s
35James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports38.7978s
426Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport38.8012s
527Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport38.8226s
629Townsend BellUSAAndretti Autosport38.8670s
728Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport38.9132s
819Gabby ChavesCOLDale Coyne Racing38.9381s
97Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports38.9502s
1098Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport38.9867s
1177Oriol ServiaESPSchmidt Peterson Motorsports39.0020s
129Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing39.0514s
1322Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske39.0554s
146JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing39.0717s
153Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske39.0739s
1620Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing39.0907s
1715Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing39.1067s
182Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske39.1217s
1963Pippa MannGBRDale Coyne Racing39.1444s
2010Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing39.1725s
2111Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing39.1969s
2241Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises39.2046s
238Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing39.2240s
2461Matt BrabhamAUSKV Racing/Pirtek Team Murray39.2580s
2518Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing39.2693s
2616Spencer PigotUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing39.2799s
2714Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises39.3141s
2842Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing39.3241s
2935Alex TaglianiCANAJ Foyt Enterprises39.3713s
3024Sage KaramUSADreyer & Reinbold Racing39.4707s
3188Bryan ClausonUSADale Coyne Racing/Jonathan Byrd's Racing39.5074s
3225Stefan WilsonGBRKV Racing Technology39.7234s
334Buddy LazierUSALazier/Burns Racing39.8789s